Riverside, CA to Indio, CA
Today’s ride was supposed to be 92.7 miles from Riverside to Indio but my ride was actually 93.41 miles, due to the fact I left my sunglasses at the second SAG stop. I had to double back into a headwind to pick them up, which was totally unnecessary. Ah well it just adds to the adventure.
The first part of today’s ride had two climbs of 3 miles and 6 miles. Most of my training has been on flat terrain, where a hill is a bridge over a motorway, so these two climbs tested my legs and my determination even more so. As other riders passed me by I knew I just needed to grit it out. I was fine albeit just a little slower than others. I didn’t need any stops to reach both summits, from where I reaped the benefits of a tailwind to push me along. By this time I was riding alone somewhere in the middle of the group which was probably split over a number of miles. Everyone has their own plan for this trip, and we ride together for periods and then find ourselves either in front or behind other small groups along the route. There was no way I was going to keep up with the ‘three amigos’ from yesterday’s ride so today I just ‘rode my ride’. After a two mile stint on I10 with some very fast traffic I turned off the highway onto a great road for the next 6 miles. The road ran alongside a train track on which there was one of those never ending freight trains chugging alongside me as I turned onto the road. The tailwind was so good that I was in my top gear and travelling along just a touch faster than the train. I found myself pedalling at 35 mph, free as a bird and like a kid racing the train home. It was just another of those great moments I have had since taking up this cycling adventure.
Racing the Train
The final 40 miles seemed much less effort than the first 50 and I was glad to be joined by one of my trusted Amigos Terry and another rider Ken as we got to Palm Springs. We rode in a pace line for a while until Ken dropped off leaving me to sit behind Terry and let him drag me home. A satisfying day as it was the second longest ride and the longest continuous climb I have ever done. Tomorrow we will ride 97 miles in the Sonoran Desert, hopefully followed by my longest ever ride of 117 miles into Wickenburg, AZ. It’s time fuel up with dinner ready for whatever tomorrow might bring.